It’s here! Memorial Day weekend- the official start of summer. We have an African-diaspora cultural festival in Brooklyn, and Afrobeats in Midtown. A genie grants big screen wishes and Love In Bloom on Staten Island. Here are a few of the many events happening in the city that never sleeps, guaranteed to keep you Out and About.
Lydia Ourahmane at Bodega, 167 Rivington St., N.Y. through June 16: Algerian artist has filled the small space with disparate, poetic elements. Four cast-bronze female half torsos lie flat on the gallery floor in a curved line—a short path of disquieting stepping stones leading to a shorn-off braid of human hair. A small mahogany box (a mouse-size treasure chest) sits alone on a ledge. But the real clues—and additional mysteries—are provided by the written materials at the front desk. From the exhibition checklist, we learn that one of the works on view is invisible: titled “Betadine,” it is composed of antiseptic solution mopped onto the floor.
In and Out of the Garden at Agora Gallery 530 West 25th Street, New York through May 31: In and Out of the Garden, a group exhibition featuring paintings and mixed-media installations on the state of the natural world, the creatures that inhabit it, and the silent joy that comes from spending time in nature. From moody forests to the fish in the sea, the artists on display take inspiration from natural forms, carefully reconstructing the shapes and aesthetics they’ve observed in the wild. These artists find joy and peace in their subject matter, reflecting on the simplicity of nature without understating its significance.
Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern through June 15 at The Museum of Modern Art: “I have a live eye,” proclaimed Lincoln Kirstein, signaling his wide-ranging vision. Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern explores this polymath’s sweeping contributions to American cultural life in the 1930s and ’40s. Best known for cofounding New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet with George Balanchine, Kirstein (1907–1996), a writer, critic, curator, impresario, and tastemaker, was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history.
Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern | MoMA Exhibition
The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, at the age of forty-two, cast a classicizing eye on subjects both conventional (calla lilies) and controversial (the underground S & M scene). As his muse and friend Patti Smith has written, “He will be condemned and adored. His excesses damned or romanticized. In the end, truth will be found in his work, the corporeal body of the artist.” The Guggenheim opens its yearlong two-part exhibition “Implicit Tensions: Robert Mapplethorpe Now.”
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything: The Jewish Museum (1109 5th Ave at 92nd St New York) April 12 – September 8, 2019. A world-renowned novelist, poet, and singer/songwriter who inspired generations of writers, musicians, and artists, Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was an extraordinary poet of the imperfection of the human condition, giving voice to what it means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. Featuring 12 artists and 18 musicians from 10 countries, this exhibition offers a deep and rich exploration of the beloved global icon through the lens of contemporary art.
Alicja Kwade, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through October 27, a Polish artist who lives and works in Berlin is this year’s recipient of The Met’s annual commission to create an installation for the museum’s roof garden. These projects are perennial crowd-pleasers, as they add a touch of artistic enhancement to the rooftop’s spectacular views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline. Kwade’s approach seems tailor-made for the site, as it usually entails minimalist sculptural ensembles made of glass, stone and metal—materials that give her efforts a luxurious gloss. Kwade often plays perceptual tricks on the viewer as part of her overall interest in deconstructing the philosophical and scientific teachings we rely on to make sense of the world. At The Met, she reaches for the cosmos with a pair of pieces that evoke the Solar System.
Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Ever since Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922, people have been fascinated by Ancient Egyptian treasures. The Met recently acquired one such object—a gold-leafed covered coffin for a High Priest from Egypt’s Ptolemaic period. It’s on display, along with 70 other Egyptian artifacts from the Met’s collection.
‘IDACOnyc: The Italian Dance Connection, May 22 through 24 at the Sheen Center 18 Bleecker St, New York, gives New York the boot in a three-day festival that comprises 16 live dance works (including 10 premieres) and a dozen films. The offerings are divided into four distinct programs.
DanceAfrica Festival 2019, May 24 through May 27 at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Av, Brooklyn. The 42nd annual edition of the African-diaspora cultural festival focuses on the history and culture of Rwanda in a program created by artistic director Abdel R. Salaam. The Rwandan company Inganzo Ngari is joined onstage by actor-poet Malaika Uwamahoro and the BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble. In addition to performances, the festival includes community events, readings, film screenings and a visual-art exhibition.
Parson Dance May 14- 26 at the Joyce Theater: A “dance your heart out…kind of enterprise” (The New York Times), Parsons Dance dedicates its 2019 Joyce season to master choreographer Paul Taylor and pays tribute to him in the staging of Runes, a mesmerizing work performed by David Parsons in 1981 during his time as a member of Paul Taylor Dance Company. Also on tap is the New York premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Eight Women.
American Ballet Theater 2019 Spring Season, May 13–July 6, 2019, at Metropolitan Opera House: New Work Premiere of by Alexei Ratmansky and Company Premieres of Deuce Coupe by Twyla Tharp and Jane Eyre by Cathy Marston to Highlight ABT’s Also Roberto Bolle to give farewell performance with ABT on June 20 and Brooklyn Mack to Appear as Guest Artist.
La Mama Moves! Dance Festival at the La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater and the Downstairs (through May 26). This East Village event continues this weekend with performances by Mia Habib, a Norwegian choreographer whose “All- a Physical Poem of Protest” highlights the protesting body with nude dancers of all ages walking and running in circles, and Colleen Thomas’s “But the Sun Came Up and We Were Here.” In it, she collaborates with Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian and American dancers to expose a world of political and social unrest. And on May 9, the choreographer Yin Mei presents “Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep,” a new take on “The Peony Pavilion.” Other participating artists include Hari Krishnan/inDance (May 11, 12), Bobbi Jene Smith (May 16–19), Jesca Prudencio (May 23, 34) and Sin Cha Hong (May 25, 26).
New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater (April 23-25, 7:30 p.m.; through June 2). The spring season opens with a week of dances by current choreographers, and while some are unavoidably tedious — Mauro Bigonzetti’s Oltremare comes to mind — there are some treasures. As for the good? Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes, set to Aaron Copland’s timeless score, and William Forsythe’s playful and exacting Herman Schmerman. And as for the great? Alexei Ratmansky never phones anything in at City Ballet, so it’s time to bask in a delightful pair: Pictures at an Exhibition and Concerto DSCH.
GLORY: A Life Among Legends, Monday, May 25 6:30- 8pm event at Shakespeare & Co, 939 Lexington Avenue, New York. a new memoir by Glory Van Scott, shares her experience with some of the greatest performers of her era , explores integrity, examines sexism and racism in the arts, and encourages a new generation of artists. Dr. Van Scott, immortalized in bronze by Elizabeth Catlett in 1981, was awarded the first Katherine Dunham Legacy Award in 2002 and has received numerous citations and honors nationwide for her work in dance, theater, acting and education.Q&A and book signing to follow the
Brightburn: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? Opens May 24.
Aladdin: A street rat frees a genie from a lamp, granting all of his wishes and transforming himself into a charming prince in order to marry a beautiful princess. But soon, an evil sorcerer becomes hell-bent on securing the lamp for his own sinister purposes. Opens May 24.
Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation: In August 1969 — against a backdrop of a nation in conflict over sexual politics, civil rights, and the Vietnam War — half a million people converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York to hear the concert of a lifetime. What they experienced was a moment that would spark a cultural revolution, changing many of them and the country forever. With never-before-seen footage, Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation tells the story of the political and social upheaval leading up to those three historic days, as well as the extraordinary events of the concert itself, when near disaster put the ideals of the counterculture to the test. What took place in that teaming mass of humanity — the rain-soaked, starving, tripping, half-a-million strong throng of young people — was nothing less than a miracle of unity, a manifestation of the “peace and love” the festival had touted, and a validation of the counterculture’s promise to the world. Open May 24
An All- Colored Vitaphone Show presented by Ina Archer at the Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., May 20, 6:20pm: Artist and archivist Ina Archer, of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, presents early sound shorts starring Black artists, mostly filmed at Brooklyn’s Vitaphone studios, including Yamercraw: A Negro Rhapsody (1929); An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), with the Nicholas Brothers; Gjon Mili’s jazz film masterpiece Jammin’ the Blues (1944); and Duke Ellington, Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake, Nina Mae McKinney, Ethel Waters, Cab Calloway, and many more. Dedicated to Ron Hutchinson
Bolden, is an film based on the life of cornetist Buddy Bolden (1877-1931). One of the seminal figures in jazz history, Bolden left no surviving recordings, having been committed in 1907 at age 30 to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum, where he spent the rest of his life after a diagnosis of acute alcoholic psychosis.
Brownstone Jazz Festival and Fish Fry Concert Series, 107 Macon St, Brooklyn NY, May 24 and 25, 8:30pm .Retreat back to a different time and spend the evening in an intimate setting. You’ll experience the enjoyment of a live jazz concert, a Southern fish fry buffet, and lastly an open mic to delight your palette. Included in your experience is an upright grand piano, such as the ones once used to create some of today’s classic Jazz tunes on Pan Alley Row, grouped alongside other acoustic style instruments in what is, THE ROOM. See the many venues that housed jazz greats like Thelonious Monk, Randy Weston, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Hank Mobley and others.
Bjork: Cornucopia at the Shed 545 West 30th Street from May 16 through May 28: The infamously quirky Icelandic artist is already known for extravagance. In 2017, she re-imagined her eighth studio release Vulnurica as an immersive VR-experience, in which she transforms into a God-like entity of pure light dancing with an ominously fluourescing, flying jellyfish. And previous tours have featured the likes of 70-piece orchestras (2001’s Vespertine), as well as electric-bolt-emitting tesla coils and pendulums that utilize the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns (Biophilia).
Universal Temple Of The Arts Presents: Love In Bloom, Saturday, May 7pm through 9pm, Snug Harbor, South Meadow Lawn. Love In Bloom, Snug Harbor Bring a picnic supper, blankets and chairs to Universal Temple of the Arts’ first garden production of Love In Bloom on the South Meadow for a beautiful outdoor experience. Love In Bloom will summon the audience to explore the breadth, depth and power of love portraying a variety of artistic expressions of music, dance, visual art and poetry to convey love as the supreme emotion. This original production features choreographers Walter Rutledge and Roumel Reaux; and community based artists including Leopoldo Fleming, Karlus Trapp, Dorian Lake, Sylvester Scott, Betty Shirley and more. Come welcome the summer season with family and friends!
BLKS at the MCC Theater, 511 W 52nd St., from May 14 through May 26: BLKS operates like a sitcom, withSex and the City–style leaps of logic, sudden romances and the requisite piles of coincidence. The action takes place in a single long day and night, running all over New York from Bushwick to the Nuyorican Poets Café, trying to keep up with three twentysomething roommates who are partying to forget their troubles. Octavia (Paige Gilbert) wants to have one last orgasm before she gets surgery on her clitoris; Imani (Alfie Fuller) plans on performing a stand-up routine, but has to contend with a crying white lady (Marié Botha) who wants to make out with her; June (Antoinette Crowe-Legacy) has found her boyfriend cheating on her, and is about to make some weird decisions about a random guy, Justin (Chris Myers), she meets at the club
Avenue Q at the New Word Stages, 340 W 50th St through May 26:After many years, the sassy and clever puppet musical doesn’t show its age. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s deft Sesame Street–esque novelty tunes about porn and racism still earn their laughs. Avenue Q remains a sly and winning piece of metamusical tomfoolery.
The Big Bang Theory: A Pop-Rock Musical Parody at Theater Center (210 W 50th St, New York) through May 26. World collide when a group of nerds and their lady friends are tested by a character from Star Trek in Karlan Judd’s raunchy musical spoof of the long-running sitcom. Tristan J. Shuler directs.
Glenda Jackson as King Lear is in her own world as the maddening monarch of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The production at the Cort Theater runs through July 7, 2019.
Ain’t Too Proud follows The Temptations’ journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Through friendship and betrayal amid the civil unrest that tore America apart, their moving and personal story still resonates five decades later.
Choir Boy, the Broadway premiere of Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney acclaimed drama at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, centers on the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, which for a half a century has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?
FrankieFridays is Brooklyn’s best kept house music secret! The party takes place every Friday at The Happiness Lounge, 1458 St. Johns Place (bet. Utica Avenue and Rochester Avenue). The party rocks the best dance classics and soulful house music masterfully mixed by New York City’s own DJ Frankie Paradise. The predominantly mature gay crowd are there to get down, and create a warm inviting atmosphere for all. Reasonably prices drinks and a small admission price (feels more like a donation) of $5 before midnight and $10 after makes this the don’t miss Friday night dance party.
Memorial Weekend Boat Ride from Pier 15 – Hornblower Cruises & Events, 78 South Street on Fri, May 24, 2019, 9pm through Sat, May 25, 2019, 2am. Three Concerts, all in one Boat Party (Three dance floors, three levels of music). 10+ DJs & Live performers Take a picture with a Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Freedom Tower while you’re dancing your shoes off to your favorite DJs!
Late Night Dance Party with DJ YB on Sat, May 25, 2019 10pm at Jay Sharp Building (Part of DanceAfrica Festival 2019 and BAMcafe Live 2019). Keep the DanceAfrica celebration going after hours with DJ YB, who brings a mix of Afrobeat, funk, soul, rock, jazz, and hip-hop stylings to the dance floor of BAMcafé. DJ YB has played in Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
NYC AfroBEATs Spring Festival 2019, Saturday, May 25, 5pm til 10pm, Rooftop 760 (Copacabana), 268 W 47th Street, New York, 5-10pm. Get ready for Afrobeat Spring Fest at one of NYC’s finest Spring vibe venues on May 25th. This event will feature artists performances, top DJs representing various cultures in the Diaspora, dance performance, food vendors from various cultures, etc.
We look forward to seeing you Out and About